If you follow my Facebook page, you will already know that I suffered a mini identity crisis this week.
You see, I made some brownies according to a recipe crafted by Chocolate Covered Katie, who, if you’re not already familiar, is a super successful, beautiful, and ridiculously talented young “healthy dessert” blogger who has written a best-selling cookbook, been featured on tv and in magazines, and is just an all around phenom in the food blog world.
Naturally, the brownies (along with the other recipes I’ve tried from her blog) were pretty outstanding, especially for being gluten-free/flourless, oil-free, egg-free, and refined-sugar free. My colleagues gobbled them up within a day or two, and afterward, one of them tossed the empty tupperware back at me with a pleading “refill, please!” look in her eyes.
Actually, I think she might have literally exclaimed “Refill, please!”
Now, I was happy that the brownies were a hit, but I also felt dejected. If you’ve ever done a random search for food blogs, you will notice that there are approximately eleventy millionty billionty trillion in existence. Only a handful of them are really “successful”, and even fewer are really all that unique, with most of us just riffing off one another’s recipes, or tweaking ideas that our moms/grandmas/boyfriends’ moms passed down to us.
Katie is a bit different from the typical blogger, because it appears that she develops most of her recipes entirely from her imagination. Anyone who has ever baked knows that it’s basically an edible form of chemistry, so having the intuitive ability to combine the correct mix of ingredients in exactly the right proportions for the appropriate size baking vessel at the ideal oven temperature, especially without copious amounts of butter, flour, and sugar (the trifecta of traditional baking), is a talent nothing short of magical.
With this in mind, as much as I love writing, eating, and trying new recipes, it’s really hard not to feel totally pointless and want to drown myself to death in a bowl of 2-ingredient vegan gluten-free ice cream.
But instead of murdering myself, I decided to do the next most logical thing: eat a bowl of (mint chocolate fudge) ice cream, and then a mini bag of Doritos, and then a couple of fun-sized Jersey Milks, and then a glass of red wine, whilst I contemplated my next move.
Although I enjoyed the above brownies, I decided I was going to tweak the recipe, in an attempt to accomplish two very important goals:
- more peanut butter
- more chocolate chips
I also removed the cocoa, and replaced it with some PB2 (peanut flour), and then used creamy peanut butter instead of almond butter.
And voila! Peanutty, chocolatey, fudgy, chewy delicious little blondies.
No flour, no white sugar, no eggs, no oil/butter.
Which I, personally, enjoyed immensely – even more so than the almond butter version.
(What’s the “orange glow”, you ask?
Oh that’s a little something I like to call I’m Sorry I Have A Day Job So I Don’t Have Time To Bake During Daylight Hours, Foodgawker.)
I guess the blog lives on, for another day.
Today Show, here I come.
- 3/8 cup PB2 powder (Or oat flour, other nut flour, wheat flour, or cocoa)*
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey or agave
- 1/2 cup rolled oats, gf if desired
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- *I can only guarantee it will work with cocoa instead of PB2, because I have tried that myself, but the other flours should work too.
- Preheat oven to 325 F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper or grease well, and set aside. Process the oats in a food processor until very fine, then stir all ingredients together until smooth. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth out with a spatula or press down with another sheet of oiled parchment paper (dough is very thick). Bake 15 minutes on the center rack – they will look underdone when you take them out, but this is okay. Let them sit at least a 1/2 hour; they will get a bit more firm as time goes on.